Friday, July 1

Fun e-learning? #LCBQ

This month's big question comes from Jeff Goldman and the rest of the Big Question Thought Leaders.

Summer has begun (in the northern hemisphere) and summer means fun. And if you are from the southern hemisphere, my perception is that you have fun all the time - except maybe taking eLearning. So, the #LCBQ for July is:

How do you make e-learning fun?

We also would like to hear when e-learning should or should not be fun. Or is engaging really what you go after? And how does that differ from fun?

How to Respond:

Option 1 - Simply put your thoughts in a comment below.

Option 2 - Tweet your thoughts using the hastag: #LCBQ

We will do our best to collect together tweets around the topic.

Option 3 -

Step 1 - Post in your blog (please link to this post). We recommend including #LCBQ in your title to help us.

Step 2 - Put a comment in this blog with an HTML ready link that I can simply copy and paste (an HTML anchor tag). I will only copy and past, thus, I would also recommend you include your NAME immediately before your link. So, it should look like:

Tony Karrer - e-Learning 2.0

or you could also include your blog name with something like:

Tony Karrer - e-Learning 2.0 : eLearningTechnology

Posts so far (and read comments as well):


Piotr Peszko e-Learning Designer said...

As I am mostly focused on corporate e-learning including all of the "fun stuff" depends on:
- organizational openness to something that is for fun,
- openness to incorporate additional features to social platforms working
- ability to translate competence into game-related skills.

In ideal situation I am trying to choose one of the following strategies:

1. Incorporate gamefication strategy to current and future training assigning special bagdes, points, skills, etc. Most of all trying to create game-like character building for learners.

2. Include games in the learning process. Very simple, just for fun games that are related to some small amount of data e.g. related with the product. It can by like finind abbreviations.
This kind of games can be displayed before a webinar when people wait for the event to start.

3. Create learning scenario as decision-based game, where you need to make series of right decisions to finish the game/training, as well as you get points, so you can compete with coworkers.

Shilpa said...

Using an interesting story that has some fun element or a twist of humor in it can be fun. Though this has to be contextual to the learners.

We have often converted quizzes into stories or case studies and that has shown that the learners engage with it more than just simple independent questions.

Hope this helps

Clive Shepherd said...

Clive Shepherd's contribution

Anonymous said...

Sure humour helps. Nothing useful is gained by trying too hard. Are you familiar with Moshe Feldenkrais? If not it's well worth researching his work.
I recommend the easy way for results.

Miranda said...

I think fun and engaging may be two different things, and need not co-exist. To me 'engagement' is what makes me want to complete and enables me to learn while 'fun' makes me want to do it again and again and again just for the sake of it. 'Fun' is a personal thing to - and would be hard to define for someone else.
A learning experience can be engaging but not fun. Today I learned about childhood vaccinations and was absolutely absorbed and deeply affected by the content, the stories and videos but was it fun? - nope! I may recommend it to others but won't be repeating it myself.

Julie M. Jones said...

Julie M Jones: The Lightning Blog

Navigating corporate policies for training and e-learning is not for the weak of heart and often, I find, that negotiation is futile. Proof is needed for persuasion of any kind because, lets face it, most corporate big wigs have no idea what you are capable of creating nor can they truly conceptualize things from your dicussions or white board drawings. (They don't get it) I believe the best strategy to challenge conventions would be to arrange a proof of concept.

Time, budget and resources often won't allow for the design team (or designer) to create two full learning courses (one stodgy and one stellar) so pick one section
or point to highlight using the two methods. Assemble a test group and devise a way to collect metrics. Find a way to measure, not just the fun factor, but how effective the methods are for each group member. You can even invite the big wigs to test drive the two modules as well. If you get push back on the proof of concept idea because of cost, time, etc, you can always make the point that the proof of concept would be a far cheaper option to find the best solution, rather than creating an entire course that is completely ineffective. The two keys of the proof of concept, of course, would be to show that your ideas and methods outshine the restrictions in their polices, and to get "buy in" from the test group or a few big wigs. Once the learners see the difference in the two methods, they will become your cheerleaders.

Jeff Goldman said...

Jeff - How I make e-learning fun!

Eloise said...

Eloise - Making e-learning fun

Sarah Hedayati said...

Making e-learning fun can be a difficult task. It's easy for participants to quickly shuffle through a course without getting anything out of it. I think the way to make it fun is through incentives, rewards, and contests. If you want employees to participate in e-learning, you have to give them a reason to give it their all.

Julie Biddle said...

Like beauty, fun is in the eye of the beholder. In the classroom I have often included something childlike to add fun and despite some apprehension it usually works well. One time it was little monster finger puppets (the lawyers negotiated to get one that matched their tie).

I don't believe you can have fun without engagement. You can pepper your eLearning with images and humour, but if it's a bunch of reading with multiple choice questions they're not going to have fun.

I stongly believe in the "test then tell" approach - dump them into a scenario and make them figure it out. The learner should have to make a decision for each click. Feedback about their choices is important as is access to information for those who want to read about it, or see a demo, before deciding.

Adding fun to this type of learning is much easier. Use a familiar situation but add a twist or exaggerate it, or create a fantasy situation.

Cathy Moore (blog: )posted a great demonstration featuring a crashed alien spaceship (demo ). The scenario put you in the position of a journalist, but the goal of the eLearning was to teach you some baic words in a new language - which it does quite well.

I've used a tropical island and added steel drum music and other little touches to add that element of fun.

Andrea May said...

Andrea May - eLearning and Fun: Two Words Not Normally Seen Together

Taruna Goel said...

My response at

Anonymous said...

Here's my response:

Drewvy said...

I am a little surprised at how "un-fun" most of these comments are. Yes, let's just assume Tony meant "where appropriate." No one would think it was fun to take an emergency evacuation course where if you chose the wrong stairwell you burn to death. Well, OK, I know they do worse scenarios in some of those video games, but let's keep it corporate. I re-challange those of you who party-pooped on this idea to resubmit some ideas of how to put the fun in elearning. Your topic is "Depositing Your Paycheck." And...GO!

Andrea said...

I know there are lots of great ways to make eLearning fun! My top three are:
1. Make it relevant- if they need it they will come and/or pay attention
2. change it up- don't do what's expected
3. do whatever it takes to get people to participate-I sing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" when there are pregnant pauses, ask directed questions, add lots of recognition (use their names), etc.

If the goal is learning, be willing to do whatever it takes to achieve the goal.


Generic Inductions said...

E-learning is really a fun for me. This is my favourite task in my vacations. Once upon a time books were the best companions, but now a days internet is the best companions.Anyways, keep it up and thanks for sharing...